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Blog interview: Grace Calver

Hello Grace how are you?

Hi Del, I am very well thank you, I hope you are too!

I’m great! Thankyou for asking!

Congratulations on the release of ‘Will U Be Mine?’ How does it feel?

am so happy to have finally released a song that isn’t complaining about my love life!  I have been playing the song live and it’s one of my favourites. I love what we did in the studio with the synths and the art work has pulled it all together for me. I have always loved playing video games so combining this with my love of music by making a game inspired song has been really fun.

What’s the story behind the song?

It isn’t about one specific incident, more a mix of the experiences from being on nights out with friends and meeting people! I guess it’s about fancying someone across a room, and thinking should I go speak to them?, will I look stupid? And then how we think about these people in the days after that first meeting, wondering if they’re the one!

You call it your cheesy one, why’s that?

It is a bit cheesy singing about love at first sight but I do love things that are cheesy! Part of my writing process is playing the songs live as I like to get a feel for whether they work or not, they often change dramatically after being included in a few live sets! I played this song at a couple of gigs early on and it just didn’t have a title at that point so I introduced it on stage as the cheesy one and it kind of stuck! I supported Thomas Nicholas (Kevin in the American Pie movies) and he actually said during his set that he hoped Grace gets a name for that cheesy song soon. 

You’re a singer songwriter and multi instrumentalist from Essex how did it all begin for you?

actually started playing violin when I was 6 years old because my best friend at primary school wanted to do it and we did everything together! My music teacher suggested after about a year that I should learn piano too so I actually have music grades in both violin and piano. From there I started classical singing and studied music theory, I didn’t actually pick up a guitar until I was about 14! I have written songs for as long as I can remember, but then in lockdown back in 2020 I started seriously thinking about recording and releasing them and Zombie Conversations was my debut released in February 2022.

What did you listen to growing up?

The first band I remember being obsessed with was Bastille, I have seen them live 4 times and even been to watch them record a tv interview. I really like my emo music too and had My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco on repeat for a number of years.

My dad is a big music fan and has definitely influenced my music taste with bands like Echo & The Bunnymen, Suede, The Cure, Weezer and the Smashing Pumpkins. He has taken me to see all of them live except for SP which we have tickets for later this year! 

Being a multi instrumentalist how do writing sessions begin for you?

start by coming up with lyrics and basic chords on an acoustic guitar. I tend to hear the melody in my head as I write the lyrics. Then I record the demo where I add guitar parts, bass, keys/synths and basic programmed drums for an idea. 

You’ve been gigging with the lottery winners, Alfie Templeman and Leah Weller, what’s been a fun moment on stage for you?

Before supporting The Lottery Winners, I went to their gig in Guildford at the Boileroom with a sign saying, please can I play guitar on ‘21’! Luckily they said yes and that was amazing! Playing Thom’s (Rylance) guitar on stage and alongside one of my favourite bands, is something I won’t ever forget. 

For me on stage, I do like asking the crowd to boo the guy who upset me before I play my song ‘Bored of U’ they always join in and it’s like therapy!

What have you learned from the experiences of live performances?

Enjoying the performance, talking and having fun with the crowd is more entertaining and important than being note perfect in the songs. 

You’ve also got a support slot in Norwich with King No-One how are preparations going?

Honestly we are so excited to get this opportunity! King No-One are an amazing band and we are big fans, I would love to share my drummer’s response to the news but it would need a radio edit! The Waterfront is such an amazing venue too, I have seen Waterparks and Baby Queen there in the last couple of months, so cannot wait to be on that stage! 

We are hopefully adding a new original song to the set! The next single? Possibly! Currently I am in discussions with the band (Jake Day-Guitar, James McGonigle-Drums) on whether we shake it up and add a new cover too! 

What are you listening to at the moment?

Specifically Royel Otis’ cover of ‘Murder on the Dance floor’ and Declan McKenna’s new single ‘Mulholland’s Dinner and Wine’, really look forward to his album on Friday. My favourite artists to listen to at the moment are CMAT, Baby Queen, Dylan, The Lottery Winners, plus classics from the likes of the Cure and The Strokes, and I have a playlist full of absolute bangers for those long car journeys! 

What are you looking forward to doing in 2024?

Obviously the King No-One gig we’ve mentioned is a big thing to look forward to and we also have some other exciting support slots in the pipeline. I really hope to get some more festival slots this year as I have had some great ones in previous years. I am also excited for part 2 of the Crush Era with the next single which I hope to release in May. I have started recording and am booked in the studio next week to get it finished!

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